All Shall Perish 

Hate. Malice. Revenge.

The Bay Area has a legacy of seminal metal outfits: From Metallica to Neurosis, countless bands obsessed with bleak existence and double-bass beats have shattered many eardrums. Oakland/Berkeley's own All Shall Perish seeks to add to that legacy, and is currently making a name for itself as a sonic force not to be fucked with.

Hate. Malice. Revenge. is dutifully armed with a sonic barrage that avoids completely aping classic death-metal outfits like Vader, Suffocation, and At the Gates. All Shall Perish creates its own original sound by embracing death metal but mixing in elements of tough-guy hardcore that brings to mind Hatebreed and All Out War. Mind you, this isn't your average "metalcore" record: Each song is carefully crafted to blend together and bludgeon the listener with a used but unbroken hammer. While most hardcore and metal bands are still trying to be the long-lost final piece of the At the Gates equation, it's apparent that All Shall Perish isn't so interested in history -- these guys want to be heard and understood as original, introspective and, most of all, emotive.

Thus the album kicks in with a guttural belch and a squall of layered guitars, amplifiers bleeding as they soldier on through frenzy after frenzy like an uphill military battle. The drums drop like anvils, and the cymbals crash with frenetic energy that brings to mind Norwegian juggernaut Hellhammer. As for the lyrics, you get the feeling that, like most sullen metal dudes, these guys have been trampled on a little bit, but their spirits haven't been broken -- just sharpened into jagged aural points you won't soon forget. Hate. Malice. Revenge. breeds focused aggression and intensity, and that's the path to death metal perfection.

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